Florence Welch gets crowd to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her dad as she closes Apple Music Festival

Singer delivers an intense and entertaining set at London's Roundhouse venue

Florence And The Machine brought this year’s Apple Music Festival to a close last night with a typically energetic set at London’s Roundhouse.

Three days after her third and final show at the capital’s Alexandra Palace venue, Florence Welch skipped across the stage during opening number ‘What The Water Gave Me’, then delivered a series of her trademark twirls during rousing renditions of ‘Ship To Wreck’ and ‘Shake It Out’.

Before launching into ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’, the singer told the crowd that she wanted to see everyone “up on their feet”, and audience members in the venue’s seated balcony section duly responded by dancing to the band’s popular early single, which morphed into a piano house banger during its latter stages.


Though Welch looked as though she wanted to crowd-surf, she had to settle for standing on the front row barrier and surveying the crowd from a raised position while a security guard held her legs to steady her balance.


Welch then head-banged through ‘Delilah’ and delighted the crowd with a soulful rendition of ‘You’ve Got The Love’, the Candi Staton track that she covered and took into the UK Top Five in 2009.

A more subdued section followed featuring ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’, which Welch renamed ‘How Big How Grey How Beautiful’ in honour of the London weather, and a heartfelt, harp-driven version of ‘Cosmic Love’, which Welch dedicated to her father, Nick, who was sitting in the audience and celebrating his birthday.

Welch even got the crowd to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her father after thanking him for driving Florence And The Machine around the UK in his camper van when they were offered a support slot with MGMT in 2008 and couldn’t afford a tour bus.

The explosive choruses of ‘Mother’ and a stirring version of ‘Queen Of Peace’ got the crowd moshing again before Welch and her band ended their main set with a crowd-pleasing romp through ‘Dog Days Are Over’, during which Welch encouraged audience members to embrace their neighbours and remove an item of clothing.

Several audience members then threw their tops at the stage, and Welch responded by picking them up and skipping across the stage clutching a bundle of clothing.


After she and her band briefly left the stage, Welch made a dramatic re-entrance, emerging in silhouette and dropping to her knees before launching into a hard-rocking ‘What Kind Of Man’. A suitably pummelling ‘Drumming Song’ followed before Welch and her band said their final goodbyes after an intense and consistently entertaining 90-minute performance.

Florence And The Machine played:

‘What The Water Gave Me’
‘Ship To Wreck’
‘Shake It Out’
‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’
‘You’ve Got The Love’
‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’
‘Cosmic Love’
‘Long & Lost’
‘Queen Of Peace’
‘Dog Days Are Over’
‘What Kind of Man’
‘Drumming Song’